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Idaho Power to host virtual meetings on wildfire safety and public safety power shutoffs


BOISE, Idaho (KIFI) — As Idaho Power prepares for wildfire season, the company is hosting three virtual meetings in early June to discuss measures it is taking to keep communities safe from wildfire and help customers prepare in case of a public safety power shutoff (PSPS) or other outage.

A PSPS is when an electrical utility like Idaho Power proactively turns off power to an area when wildfire risk is high due to extreme weather. It is one of many efforts Idaho Power can take to keep communities safe. Other safety measures that could cause outages include limiting the automatic re-energization of lines to help prevent sparks.

This is the company’s third summer with a PSPS plan in place. Idaho Power has never had to call a PSPS event but encourages all customers to be prepared for potential outages, regardless of the cause. 

Below is the schedule for the virtual meetings. Check for links to join.

  • June 4, 6–7 p.m.
  • June 5, 6–7 p.m.
  • June 6, 6–7 p.m.

A PSPS is a last resort to prevent wildfires. From trimming trees to wrapping poles in fire-resistant mesh to maintaining and inspecting equipment, wildfire mitigation is a year-round, everyday job at Idaho Power. However, if high winds, dry vegetation, or other weather conditions lead to extreme fire risk, Idaho Power might need to call a PSPS.

“The last few decades, wildfires have become more frequent and intense in Idaho and Oregon,” Idaho Power Wildfire Mitigation and Transmission and Distribution Engineering Director Jon Axtman said. “In response, we have expanded our work to reduce wildfire risk. A PSPS is just one tool — an important one — for protecting the people and places that make our corner of the world so special.”

Idaho Power has developed a map showing where PSPS events are most likely due to weather patterns, vegetation, and the density of homes and other structures. The company is working to minimize customer impacts by installing additional devices over the next few years that help isolate sections of the grid so fewer customers are impacted by PSPS outages. The map, along with tips on preparing for summer outages, preventing wildfires, and measures Idaho Power is taking to protect the grid, is available at

"We’re proud of our record of reliability,” Axtman said. “We keep our customers’ power flowing more than 99.9% of the time. But it’s important for all of us to recognize that severe weather could lead to a PSPS or other outage that lasts an extended period of time, and prepare accordingly.”

Idaho Power encourages customers to make a plan, prepare for medical needs like refrigerated medicine or powered medical equipment, and make sure their contact information is up to date at

If a PSPS is necessary, Idaho Power will provide as much advance notice as possible to affected customers through phone or text messages and keep them updated throughout the event.

To learn more, attend one of the virtual meetings or visit

Article Topic Follows: Idaho

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